Tuesday, January 31

#31: Grinding with the Grizzlies

Perfect weather again today (70 degrees) and a big, BIG win for the Grizz tonight -- 100-97 in OT. It was an ugly game, but the come-from-behind win had so much heart behind it that we're all smiles around here. And, if that wasn't enough, Jonathan bought a Z-Bo headband. #TimetoGrind
Tomorrow marks month no. two of my daily blog posts. I'm doing it -- I'm really, really doing it!

Monday, January 30

#30: Spring-like

Okay, so technically today wasn't such a great day. Even the Grizzlies (especially Rudy Gay who actually tried to get himself ejected from the game) would stunk.
The best part of today was the perfect, spring-like weather in January. Sunny and high '60s, it felt more like April than January. It made me wish I could plant my zinnias and prune my roses, but sadly, I won't be able to do that for a few more months.
I am so grateful for this weather, because I desperately needed some sunshine on my cloudy day. Here's hoping tomorrow is better for me and the Grizzlies.

Sunday, January 29

#29: Weekend with Eliza

1. My purple "Justin Bieber" nails, painted by Eliza
2. Ollie before the three of us (me, Ollie and Eliza) went to "Florida" for the afternoon. We packed our suitcases, got on an "airplane" and visited Disney princesses.
3. Jonathan and Eliza celebrating her sixth birthday at the local Mexican restaurant.
4. Jonathan and Anthony returning home after driving the Beetle around the block.

Saturday, January 28

#28: Hanging with Eliza

Today we spent the afternoon with our niece, Eliza. She's six and so much fun. We colored, put stickers in a sticker book, dressed paper dolls and read together. She also painted my nails purple. She's so smart and wants to learn about everything. She almost makes me want to be a mom. Maybe someday. :)

#27: Friday Night Pizza

What's better than homemade pizza on a Friday night? Homemade pizza with dough kneaded by our fabulous bread maker and topped with veggie cheese, of course!

Thursday, January 26

#26: The Club

Tonight we saw The Club at TheatreWorks. Sometimes a little Thursday night date is just what you need to get the weekend started right...besides the play, additional highlights include candy cigarettes, mood lighting, wine and a post-play basketball game with the Grizzlies in LA.

Wednesday, January 25

#25: Oliver, Baby Slippers and Bing

It's hard for me to remember life without this cat. He came into my life as a tiny, two-month-old kitten in April 2003, just as my life was starting to change forever, and he's been there for me ever since. On her deathbed, my grandma described Oliver, the cat she never lived to meet in person, as a lap cat. He was only a few months old and hadn't fully developed his personality yet, but she knew. He is the sweetest, most loving lap cat you'll ever meet.
It sounds silly to ramble on about a cat, but he curls up on my lap or sits on my chest when I need to be comforted, he sleeps on my feet every night and he is right beside me every time I turn around. He looks at me like he knows what's on my mind, and he tries to do his best to make things better.
He's turning nine this year, and I pray he has many, many years ahead of him. He's such an important part of my life, and I love him so much. Here's Oliver checking out a piece of avocado that jumped off the cutting board. His favorite foods are chips, crackers, tofutti, tuna, biscuit crumbs and cat food. He has also been known to steal lettuce off an abandoned plate. Now changing subjects...
I had to share a photo of these adorable newborn slippers I bought for our neighbor's new daughter. Aren't they the cutest thing ever? ADORABLE!
Changing subjects again, we've been listening to lots of old standards lately -- Frank Sinatra, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Dean Martin, Billy Holiday, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole and Bing Crosby. To my great surprise, Bing's CD includes White Christmas. It's only mid January, and I'm already enjoying it again. The other songs are really good too. Standards feel classy, they make us happy and they're unbelievably calming.

Tuesday, January 24

#24: Getting with it

Today I went to the doctor and had the misfortune of stepping on the scale. Oy. A scale will always bring you back to reality in a hurry. Despite four gym visits a week and making what I consider to be healthy choices 95 percent of the time, I'm still far from where I want to be. I think back to 2007, when I first set foot in the gym. Back then, I didn't have to work out, but now it is a requirement. Not that I mind, but it's still pretty annoying to try so hard and not see the results I want. I know I can try harder -- change things up, eat even healthier things, stop reading while I exercise -- but I also want to enjoy life.
What are you doing to make yourself healthier in 2012?

Monday, January 23

#23: Four Years

Today marks four years at my current job. I have been there as long as I was in high school or college and twice as long as I was at my previous job. It's a little overwhelming to think how much this job has completely changed my life. It has allowed me to meet so many wonderful people, and I have learned so much about myself -- what I love, what I hate, what matters and what isn't important at all. It has inspired me, and it has exhausted me. Still, I have never been bored, and I rarely wish my days away. Habitat came into my life when I so desperately needed purpose, and it has given me that and so much more. The years, which I have captured with my camera and see on an almost daily basis, have flown by. Now as I mark yet another anniversary, I wonder what comes next. While the future is always uncertain, I know I will always be grateful for my Habitat world. I am forever changed by it.

Sunday, January 22

#22: Giants Win

So proud of Eli and the Giants...they are going back to the Super Bowl to play the Patriots on Peyton's home fun is that?
I'm also proud of the other former Rebels who played so well today...Michael Oher, Patrick Willis and Ben Jarvis Green-Ellis all started and made huge plays.
In the middle of the football antics we were experiencing very severe weather. It was 72 with very high humidity, and for a few moments, I thought Shelby County was going to see a tornado or two. Luckily it was a false alarm, but we were all pretty nervous for a while.
Tornados in January....

Saturday, January 21

#21: Dresses and Basketball

My mom, sister and I went wedding dress shopping today, and Lauren found "the dress." We weren't so sure our trip would be successful at first, but when you know, you know...and the one she picked is totally her. Just like I was, she knows exactly what she wants, and she is clearly going to be the bride and the wedding planner, all at the same time. Maybe we're just control freaks, but I think we just know what we want and how to get it. :)
I also found a first bridesmaid's dress since I was a flower girl in England. It's sixties inspired. Is anyone surprised? Now we're just trying to decide on the color...
No worry, this is not the dress. I wasn't supposed to be taking pictures, but I had to snap one. I'm a photographer!
After dress shopping, we headed back to Memphis, and I joined Jonathan, his brother and his brother's girlfriend for dinner and a Grizzlies game. We had FedEx seats on the 10th row, so my sister and her fiancé were able to use our tickets. Grizz fun for the entire family!
The view sure is different from these seats....

Friday, January 20

#20: Resolution

One of the year's resolutions: Be hard to offend. Thanks to a dear friend for always making me see the best in people. It is true that most people are truly good at heart, but sometimes it's easy to forget. This year I will try not to let things get to me. This resolution might take a few years to master...

Thursday, January 19

#19: Rings

I picked up our freshly polished rings today during my lunch hour. They look brand new, and I am reminded of five years ago tomorrow when Jonathan asked me the most important question of all.
Five years. It feels like yesterday. We haven't changed much, have we?
There is never a day that goes by that I don't count my lucky stars that Jonathan and I found each other so early in life. I feel so blessed to have such a loving husband. Sharing each day with him is a gift. He has brought tremendous joy into my life.
Yesterday I was working on our website at work, and I had to upload his photo to our Heroes page (yep, he's a volunteer superstar among his many talents). Seeing that face makes me smile every time. I love him so much.

Wednesday, January 18

#18: Gym Time

I'm proud to say that I've already hit my gym quota for the week. I have worked out every day this week because I know there's a good chance I won't be able to get back to the gym until Saturday or Sunday. It would have been very easy to skip a night or two because I'm a little sore. Instead I fought through it, and I feel better! Exercise has never been fun for me, but as I'm getting older, I find it to be great for stress relief.
Exercise is also addictive. Try working out four days in a row and see if you don't want to work out on the fifth day. Amazing!

Tuesday, January 17

#17: For the love of food

I like food. A lot. Because I like food so much, I have to exercise. A lot. I'm also vegan, so that helps keep me on the healthy side. When you don't eat meat, cheese, eggs and milk, you cut out a lot of calories. Despite my diet restrictions, I'm always on the hunt for good recipes, and Pinterest is the best place to find them! Here are just a few yummy recipes I have "pinned" recently. If you aren't on Pinterest, let me know, and I'll send you an invite. It's chock full of inspiration. Also, just so you know, I will be veganizing all of these recipes. Stay tuned for that. :)

Monday, January 16

#16: Break

I was off today, as our office was closed in observance of Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday. Most of the day was spent catching up on chores, but I did take some time to enjoy just being home. I had the windows open, and Ollie, Porter and I celebrated the perfect mid-60s weather together. Porter scored two walks, and Ollie sat in the window for half of the day and on the freshly washed comforter the other half of the day. It's the little things that make our pets happy.

Sunday, January 15

#15: Gentlemen Style, Bringing Breakfast and Eli Wins

Today's pic wasn't taken today, but I stumbled across it as I looked for a photo of the muffins we took to Sunday School this morning, and I decided it represented this weekend better than any food picture. Dr. King is always on the hearts and minds of the people of Memphis, and as we celebrate his birthday, we remember all the good things he did in his short life. I always wonder life would have been like if he had lived -- how would our world have been different? It's a hard question to ponder.
Today's good things:
1. Jonathan found three sport coats worthy of a gentlemen on sale
2. We took our rings in to be cleaned and polished and remembered five years ago this weekend when we went shopping for our most important purchase. He proposed to me one week later.
3. Breakfast was a hit, thanks to the Bottle Tree Bakery's muffin recipe.
4. The NY Giants won, beating the Green Bay Packers in a big way. Now they're off to the NFC Championship game where they are playing the San Francisco 49ers. Another fun fact: all four remaining teams have a Rebel player on them. For this I am very proud. We may not be great, but our alums are!